Research Centre

Research is at the heart of all that we do and is one of the main peaks of excellence. We use it to gain feedback from the communities we support, build evidence-based projects and understand the impact of our work in the short, medium and long terms. Our research team has conducted numerous baseline re-surveys and impact studies to allow us to continuously assess community needs and monitor the impact of our work. Research helps us to recognise the strengths and weaknesses in our programmes and make adjustments accordingly. As Adara continues to grow, we are increasingly focussed on expanding and strengthening our research activities and sharing our findings widely, so others can build on our success and learn from our mistakes.


  • Adara has been conducting research in Humla, Nepal, since our work began there in 1998. Our research team has conducted nearly 10 years of baseline and follow-up surveys in 15 villages, to gauge a number of critical development indicators. All work we do in Humla is shaped by our research in the community. Thousands of villagers have shared information with us for our baseline and follow-up surveys. This information has helped us monitor health, social and attitudinal changes associated with our projects. Topics include:
    • disease prevalence and health-seeking behaviour
    • access to education
    • nutrition status of mothers and children
    • Levels of indoor air pollution
    • use of solar technologies
    • quality of drinking-water sources
    • food security
    • income-generating activities
    • sanitation conditions
    To conduct this research, our staff surveying every household in each village where we work. Adara field and research staff also routinely participated in group meetings and focus discussions in each village, to discuss specific topics and get key insights from the participants. We have used the results of our research to monitor the progress of our programmes in these remote villages, and we routinely return to evaluate our progress.
  • We have collected data to monitor the health status and outcomes associated with NICU patients since 2002. These data have been analysed by the Adara Research Office and collaborators at the University of Washington Medical School since 2004. Improvements to the data collection system, including an electronic data management system used by clinicians in the NICU, began in 2011 and data from that new system are currently under analysis. Adara’s first research project in the households in Kiwoko Hospital’s catchment area was conducted in 2011. We finished analysing the data in 2012, and the results were presented to the Adara senior management team and to clinicians at the hospital. These data will inform strategy decisions for the community-based healthcare programme, and the results of that study will also be used as a baseline against which we can monitor the future progress of our work.The research focussed on understanding key health factors, mainly:
    • health and sanitation conditions in homes
    • self-described health histories and health-seeking behaviour
    • how respondents prioritised their development concerns and needs
    • householders’ attitudes toward local government and private health care facilities, as well as toward traditional healers of various kinds, including traditional birth attendants
    • impediments to seeking ante-natal care and medical facility-based obstetric care during labour and delivery
    In collaboration with Moses Ssekkide, Kiwoko Hospital's Community-Based Healthcare Manager at Kiwoko Hospital, Dr McKay directed a team of 20 local research assistants, who collected information from more than 500 homes across 17 villages. The Adara research team then analysed more than 300 individual aspects of the survey results to develop key findings on hygiene in the home, treatment choices, disease prevalence, knowledge and prevention. We plan to conduct follow-up surveys on these topics, to monitor how our work is helping the community. Based on those results, we can make key decisions about our programmes.


Based on our studies to date, the Adara research team has put together a number of papers and short blogs on various development topics.


  • The community based healthcare team from Kiwoko Hospital in Uganda surveyed members of 510 households in 15 villages in the region about their health situations and concerns

  • ADARA research office analysed over 300 variables of interest from the community surveys conducted in Kiwoko Hospital’s catchment area

  • ADARA data collectors surveyed over 300 households in Humla for the latest baseline survey

  • The Humla community baseline survey was 34 pages long asking a range of questions to better understand the needs in the community